Long Way Home, The
United Fund of Greater St. Louis
1950s documentary in the neorealist style. Film reminiscent of Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D. Old man is evicted from his apartment, tired and alone, visits the various public services in St. Louis available to him.
11:01:07:12 CU open suitcase lying on bed, disembodied hands of old man packing suitcase; superimposed title credits; wedding photograph packed on top of clothes in suitcase; old man closes suitcase and exits bedroom with bare light bulb hanging above the bed.
11:02:08:17 LS old man carrying suitcase walks up sidewalk toward sign “Washington University Clinics”; St. Louis, Missouri.
11:02:16:06 VS inside Washington University clinic waiting room in St. Louis; old man walks down row of seated people in waiting room; tracking shot of diverse group of people seated in chairs in clinic waiting room.
11:02:52:02 MS man lying on examination table, nurse sits beside man’s head and puts instrument up against man’s eye; CU nurse holding open man’s eye puts a metal instrument up against his eye ball, probably to measure eye pressure.
11:02:59:15 Pan from Red Cross intravenous blood down tube to nurse attaching tube to arm of patient.
11:03:12:16 Old man at the Tumor Clinic at the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital, nurse and technician help man into large Betatron radiation machine and aim instrument at man’s chest; MS old man in Betatron machine looks exhausted and worn out, eyes nearly closed behind his glasses.
11:03:39:08 Old man wearing train engineer hat carrying suitcase hesitates at gate of Kingdom House then enters; VS elderly of the Golden Age Club at Kingdom House.
11:04:16:29 CU disembodied hand holds domino pieces, game of dominoes spread out on table, another disembodied hand holding pencil writes down score of piece of paper; MS group of old men playing dominoes.
11:04:31:05 CU old man wearing metal frame looking tired and depressed, turns head away from camera.
11:04:37:07 Children about 4 years old playing and swing set and slid of playground; old man sitting in the wind watching the children play.
11:04:59:01 LS old man crossing street walking toward camera, cross walk sign changes from Walk to Stop while old man is in middle of street, cars passes on both side of old man; high-angle shot of old man walking through traffic, 1950s cars; CU 1950s car screeches to halt just in front of old man carrying suitcase.
11:05:36:15 CU sign “Caution: Deaf Children Cross Here”
11:05:42:01 MS young boy about 4 to 5 years old with hands holding his somber face, wearing large headphones.
11:05:44:15 MS Nun working with deaf children wearing headphones, nun wears microphone attached to her chest points finger at poster and reads the words “Tom and Dick played baseball”; CU nun asks little girl to try and say the words; CU deaf girl wearing headphones with great difficulty tries to say “Tom and Dick played baseball”, little girl smiles at nun after saying the sentence.
11:06:22:04 Teenage boys playing baseball, boy wearing YMCA t-shirt up to bat; MS old man wearing glasses and train engineer hat watches boys play baseball; teenage boy hits ball into outfield; old man picks up ball and throws it back into play; MS pitcher wearing YMCA t-shirt and baseball hat with letter A winds up and throws pitch; MS boy about 13 hits ball.
11:06:48:13 MS old man, pan to suit case on bench, disembodied hand reach into frame and grabs hand of suitcase.
11:07:06:07 VS Rehabilitation Center in the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, man in wheel chair turns giant wheel, woman in wheel does upper-body exercise; nurse helps old man exercise his legs; CU exercise machine weights moving up and down.
11:07:30:05 Woman with one leg walks down empty hallway with crutches followed by mail nurse; CU one leg of woman walking with crutches, followed by legs of nurse.
11:07:40:19 VS old man in bathing suit on stretcher is craned into tank of water, nurses help old man in water tank to stretch his legs; CU stoic old man in water tank lying on canvas stretcher.
11:08:29:28 Old man carrying suitcase walks through gate with sign for the “a United Fund Agency”, old man is received at the entrance of the building.
Script and Direction: Richard Heffron.
June 5, 2017
More fun and frolic from the United Fund people in St Louis. This time a widowed man moves out of his place to a home sponsored by the United Fund. But before he can do that, he has to visit almost every imporvershed and disadvantaged person living in the area. We see Old people, crippled people, young people, and deaf children trying to speak (when they do, they sound like Bjork). The film ends when the man reaches The home, but you're left feeling BAD for the old codger in a way that I'm not too sure the filmmakers intended. It's a bit hard to explain, but the feeling I got after the end of the film was not really the pulling the heartstrings feeling, but more dread and gloom, like going to the United Fund was the ultimate last step.